Greg Osby

Season of Renewal

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The free funk altoist Greg Osby's Season of Renewal is a strange mixture of avant-garde explorations by the leader (doubling on alto and soprano) and rather inflexible funk rhythms. The mostly wordless vocals by Amina Claudine Myers (who sounds semi-operatic during her two appearances) and Cassandra Wilson add to the odd sounds. The originals, none of which contain much of a melody, never get beyond setting mysterious moods, most of them not assisted by the inappropriate rhythms from the notable supporting cast (which includes guitarist Kevin Eubanks, keyboardist Renee Rosnes, and bassist Lonnie Plaxico). If Osby's solos could have been isolated from the "backing," or if the drumming were a lot freer, this music would be quite intriguing. But as it came out, the results are consistently annoying and difficult to sit through.

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